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Alphabet and AMD fuel rise in Nasdaq

STORY: Stocks rose across the board Thursday powered by gains in shares of Alphabet and chip maker Advanced Micro Devices on optimism around artificial intelligence.

The Dow added two tenths of one percent while the S&P 500 climbed eight tenths and the Nasdaq increased one point four percent.

Alphabet’s stock jumped 5.3% as analysts cheered the launch of the Google-parent's newest AI model, while AMD soared nearly 10% after the company estimated the potential market for its data center AI chips could reach $45 billion this year.

Data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased less than expected last week.

But all eyes will be on Friday's highly anticipated November jobs report which could hint at how quickly the U.S. economy is softening and may sway expectations about when the Federal Reserve is likely to begin cutting interest rates.

Matt Stucky, Chief Portfolio Manager at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management, says he is paying close attention to two parts of the report.

“First and foremost, the unemployment rate, which has actually been rising since April of this year from 3.4% all the way up to 3.9% or so. That's typically what you tend to see."

"Kind of on the precipice of actual monthly job losses. This now we're not expecting that tomorrow. However, the the longer that we see a rise in the unemployment rate, typically that means that job losses are around the corner. The other area that we're looking at is the wage part of the employment report. Wages are still too high for the Fed’s comfort level.”

Traders have almost fully priced in the likelihood of the Fed keeping rates unchanged at its meeting next week and see a more than 60% chance of a cut as soon as March according to the CME FedWatch Tool.

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